American, born Poland
1946, Lodz, Poland
As a child growing up in Poland, Daniel Libeskind's first talent was music. But after his family emigrated to New York City during his teen years, Libeskind devoted himself to a second art: architecture.
In the early 1960s, he studied under John Hejduk at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, where he developed a highly theoretical approach to design.
Liebeskind's break came in 1987, when curator Philip Johnson exhibited some of his drawings at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Libeskind went on to design a museum of Jewish history for Berlin — his first built project — in 1989.
That commission effectively branded Libeskind as an architect with the capacity to create powerful commemorations of tragic events. In 2003, he was selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to design the master plan and public memorial for the former World Trade Center site in New York City.
More recently Libeskind has designed an addition to the Denver Art Museum as well as museums of Jewish history for Copenhagen and San Francisco.